In this richly detailed novel about the quest for an unknown father, Julia Glass brings new characters together with familiar figures from her first two novels, immersing readers in a panorama that stretches from suburban New Jersey to rural Vermont and ultimately to the tip of Cape Cod.
Kit Noonan is an unemployed art historian with twins to help support and a mortgage to pay - and a wife frustrated by his inertia. Raised by a strong-willed, secretive single mother, Kit has never known the identity of his father - a mystery that his wife insists he must solve to move forward with his life. Out of desperation, Kit goes to the mountain retreat of his mother’s former husband, Jasper, a take-no-prisoners outdoorsman. There, in the midst of a fierce blizzard, Kit and Jasper confront memories of the bittersweet decade when their families were joined. Reluctantly breaking a long-ago promise, Jasper connects Kit with Lucinda and Zeke Burns, who know the answer he’s looking for. Readers of Glass’s first novel, Three Junes, will recognize Lucinda as the mother of Malachy, the music critic who died of AIDS. In fact, to fully understand the secrets surrounding his paternity, Kit will travel farther still, meeting Fenno McLeod, now in his late fifties, and Fenno’s longtime companion, the gregarious Walter Kinderman.
And the Dark Sacred Night is an exquisitely memorable tale about the youthful choices that steer our destinies, the necessity of forgiveness, and the risks we take when we face down the shadows from our past.
Editors Select, April 2014 - My very first listen – 10 years ago, and still one of my all-time favorites – was Julia Glass’
Three Junes and I’ve been a big fan of her work ever since.
And the Dark Sacred Night promises a return not only to her compelling storytelling but to the beloved Fenno of Junes, who has a connection to Kit Noonan, our struggling protagonist who hopes that unraveling the mystery of his father’s identity will get his life back on track. Glass is at her best in revealing family secrets from alternating perspectives, and narrator Mark Deakins is more than up to the task of portraying each of these unique voices in the book I’m most looking forward to this month.
Diana D., Audible Editor
“Winner of the National Book Award for her 2002 debut,
Three Junes, Julia Glass takes another sympathetic look at the complexities of contemporary life in this novel about family secrets. . . Examining complicated family relationships among several families whose lives intertwine in unexpected ways, this warm and engaging story about what it means to be a father will appeal to most readers.” (
“Glass explores the pain of family secrets, the importance of identity, and the ultimate meaning of family . . . HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Although Glass borrows characters from her National Book Award-winning Three Junes, it is not necessary to have read that previous book to enjoy this lovely, highly readable, and thought-provoking novel.” ( Booklist, starred review)
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